King’s Arms, Shouldham, Norfolk

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The 17th Century King’s Arms occupies a prominent position on the village green in Shouldham, and is the only pub in the village. The pub closed in June 2012 and during the past two years the residents of Shouldham have run a highly successful campaign to save their village pub. The pub was listed as a community asset and they formed themselves into an IPS (Shouldham Community Enterpises Ltd) run by a committee of 10 villagers, and launched a community share issue that reached its target of raising £150,000. This together with a capital grant from DCLG (administered by SIB) enabled them to buy the pub and take possession in January 2014.


After conducting surveys of local residents and parents of children at the local school (Shouldham School is located opposite The King’s Arms) they identified a need for a venue where parents and their toddlers could sit while waiting for their school children, therefore the project was to create a community café at the end of the building. The survey also highlighted the need to provide a school meals service, and the plan was to use fresh local ingredients cooked in the pub’s kitchens to provide healthy meals for the villagers primary school children.


Although a major refurbishment was needed with new toilets plus disabled facilities etc., ‘Pub is The Hub’ through their Community Service Fund provided a small grant of £4,000 to help kick-start the café /school meals project. Parents now call into the café with their off-springs for a snack when taking and collecting their children from school, and a planned school meals service should be up and running for the 2014 autumn’s term.


  • A community pulling together
  • A clear vision from the committee and a large number of community volunteers
  • Village surveys to prove the viability of these projects
  • The pub is constantly developing new ideas to meet the needs of the local community


Total project costs                                                                               £10,000

PITH Community Service Fund Grant                                             £4,000

Private Funding                                                                                    £6,000


For more information telephone 01423 546165 or email